The Third Round: Seeing the process of the merit guilt cycle active within us is an act of the Lord’s mercy in support of our regeneration

Genesis 49: 14-18

Issachar is a bony ass, lying down between the burdens. And he shall see rest that it is good, and the land that it is pleasant; and he shall bow his shoulder to bear, and shall be a servant to tribute.

Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent upon the way, an arrow-snake upon the path, biting the horse’s heels, and his rider shall fall backward. I wait for Thy salvation, O Jehovah.


On Issachar and Dan

Arcana Coelestia 6388 …  That “Issachar” here signifies reward from works, and previously mutual love, is because by “Issachar” are here meant those who are in a certain kind and appearance of mutual love, that is, of charity toward the neighbor, and who desire to be rewarded for the goods which they do. Thus they not only defile, but also pervert genuine mutual love, or charity; for they who are in genuine mutual love are in their delight and bliss when they are benefiting the neighbor, for they desire nothing more.

6396. That Dan signifies those who are in truth and not as yet in good, is evident from the representation of Dan, as being the good of life (see n. 39213923); but here those who are in some good of life from truth, but not as yet from good. …the good with them as yet lies deeply hidden in truth, and gives them the affection of truth, and impels them to live according to truth. They who are such are in the Lord’s kingdom; but as they do not do good from good, but from truth, that is, not from a new will, but from the intellectual, and thus not from love, but from obedience because it is so commanded, they are therefore among those in the Lord’s kingdom who are in the first or ultimate heaven.


Serpent reasoning

6398. Dan shall be a serpent upon the way. That this signifies their reasoning about truth because good does not as yet lead, is evident from the representation of Dan, as being those who are in truth and not yet in good (see n. 6396); from the signification of a “serpent,” as being reasoning from what is sensuous (of which in what follows); and from the signification of “way,” as being truth (n. 6272333). Thus by “Dan being a serpent upon the way” is signified their reasoning about truth, because good does not yet lead. The quality of this reasoning and of the consequent truth, will be told in what follows.

[2] That a “serpent” denotes reasoning from what is sensuous, is because the interiors of man are represented in heaven by animals of various kinds, and hence in the Word the like are signified by the same animals. The sensuous things of man were represented by serpents because sensuous things are the lowest things in man, and are relatively earthly, and as it were creeping; as may also be seen from the forms through which sensuous things flow, concerning which, of the Lord’s Divine mercy elsewhere. Hence these sensuous things were represented by serpents, and even the Lord’s Divine sensuous was represented by the brazen serpent in the wilderness (n. 4211); and prudence and circumspection, in externals, is signified by “serpents” in Matthew:

Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16).

But when a man is in what is sensuous, remote from what is internal, as are those who are in truth and not yet in good and speaks from what is sensuous, then by the “serpent” is signified reasoning; here therefore, where Dan is treated of, is signified reasoning about truth, because good does not yet lead. In other cases malice, cunning, and deceit, are signified by “serpents,” but by poisonous serpents, as by “vipers” and the like, the reasoning of which is poison. (That the “serpent” denotes reasoning from what is sensuous may be seen above, n. 195-197; also that the “serpent” denotes all evil in general; and that evils are distinguished by different kinds of serpents n. 251254257)


The process

6396 … For with the man who is being regenerated by the Lord the case is this. He is first in truth and not in any good of life from truth; next he is in the good of life from truth, but not yet from good; afterward, when he has been regenerated, he is in the good of life from good, and he then perceives truth from good, and multiplies it in himself; these are the degrees of regeneration.


For more on the Merit-Guilt Cycle visit HERE

Third Round posts are short audio clips taken from Round 3 comments offered in the online Logopraxis Life Group meetings. The aim is to keep the focus on understanding the Text in terms of its application to the inner life along with reinforcing any key LP principles that have been highlighted in the exchanges.

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